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8 ways for the self employed to save money during coronavirus

Ellie Lister
Tuesday 30th June, 2020

For many, the idea of saving during coronavirus down time seems unimaginable, especially when financial support for the self-employed has been particularly difficult to get hold of. However, making a few slight tweaks that seem like no drop in the ocean, really can add up over the long term. 

Team Penfold have put together 8 ways to save money during lockdown. 

1. Purge your subscriptions!

Those 14 day free trials are far too easy to sign up to, and forgetting to cancel it after that 2 week period is even easier! Those invoices might only be for small amounts but can amount to a hefty sum. By the time you spot the invoice for that £40 subscription to that meditation app you signed up for at the beginning of lockdown and consequently never used, it’s too late to recoup that cash. 

This is a really easy way to save some money. Sort through the subscriptions tab on your app store and go through those direct debit subscriptions with a fine tooth comb. Be diligent about only keeping the ones you truly need. And yes, that means getting rid of that photo editor app you used that one time. Sorry.

There are some really good services out there that combine your subscriptions together... If you’re paying for a movie & music subscription separately, try find a service that does BOTH within it’s subscription so you’re not doubling up. Such as Amazon prime.

2. Take advantage of company’s brand partnerships

Many organisations partner with other companies to give discounts and exclusive offers to their existing customers. Now’s the time to take full advantage of these programmes! Ask your favourite brands what special offers they have for their customers and get sorted some good old life admin that you’ve put off for ages, at a cheaper rate. 

And whilst you’re here, these are the ones we offer our customers:

GoSimpleTax! The app breaks down a self-assessment tax return and helps you organise your return, or they can do it for you. They have a 14 day free trial, and 15% off if you're a Penfold customer. Boom!

Beyond We’ve teamed up with Beyond to offer you a 40% discount on making a will with them. After answering 5 simple questions, they will turn your answers into a legally-binding will in 15 minutes. Just print it & sign with witnesses - it’s as easy as that. All you need to do is click this link here, answer the questions and enter PEN40 at checkout.  

Let us know what other benefits you’d like us to add in by joining our Facebook Group here

3. Take advantage of a company's referral scheme!

Check out the referral bonuses of your favourite brand! If you love a brand and think your friends or colleagues would too, then using your referral link is a super easy way to boost your bank account or get a reward. Lots of newer tech companies in particular have these referral links.

And importantly, don’t forget to give out your Penfold referral code (found on your dashboard). For every friend you refer, you’ll both get £25 into your Penfold pension pot. 

AND this June, if you refer a friend, you and your referee will also be entered into our draw to win £500 in cash. The more you refer, the higher your chance of winning! What are you waiting for?

4. Revisit utilities & bills

Looking back at expenses and bills and making cuts is one of the most overlooked ways of saving money. Let’s face it, it’s a faff to do! But, by switching energy suppliers or getting a better deal on your internet, it really can make a significant difference to your monthly savings. There are lots of tools out there to help you compare these. Try Bulb!

5. Review or start a budget

It may be boring to hear again and again, but budgeting your finances really is our biggest tip for saving money. Spending your evening on exce, organising your outgoings (and getting rid of the unnecessary ones), means you can figure out exactly what you need to get by on. With that, you’ll know how much is actually needed to put aside each month, rather than overestimating the figure and ending up spending the excess unwisely. By categorising your outgoings you’ll be able to see areas that you can even cut back in, if you’re spending too much in the ‘entertainment’ category… Frugal is the new frivolous! Lots of the new digital banks integrate this really well. Try Starling, Monzo, Revolut or Monese.

6. Cooking is your new best friend.

Planning your meals ahead and using up ingredients in the fridge to make wonderful (& weird) concoctions can save you a lot of money on supermarket trips and resorting to Deliveroo. Although we’re all missing the after work dinner and drinks, splitting the costly bills has put a bit more money back in our pockets.

According to research, an average of 47% of Brits have saved on average £300 extra in the past month by doing this! 

Whilst we’re at it, delete those food delivery apps. Not having them will make it unlikely for you to use them during the weak moments. Stay strong! 

7. Claim the benefits you’re entitled to!

It’s no secret that the self-employed community has been hit hard by the pandemic. Make sure that you are applying for what you can with the government’s support. Although not all the packages are generous for the self-employed, it can be quite overwhelming to know what other support you’re eligible for and how to prove it. 

Read our blog here for a breakdown of the government’s new initiatives based upon situation & eligibility, so that you know exactly what you're entitled to receive and how to get it. 

8. Revisit your account’s interest rates

Take a look at the interest rates on your accounts - both saving and current accounts. Some interest rates are particularly poor at the moment and it could be that some current accounts pay better interest than savings accounts! You may wish to switch some of your money over to your different accounts, or dig around to find more competitive rates with attractive offers such as cashback, that you could switch over to. It’s worth using your time to do some comparison work to make sure your money is working as hard as possible for you, as this can make a huge difference over the long term! Try Plum or Squirrel.

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